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Dragon Trail’s Top 10 Reports & Articles of 2021

We posted blog content every week in 2021, including original research on Chinese traveler sentiment, trend reports, updates on travel rules, and information on developments in Chinese digital market. Here are our top 10 articles of the year.

We posted blog content every week in 2021, including original research reports on Chinese traveler sentiment, trend analysis, essential updates on travel rules for inbound and outbound Chinese tourism, and information on developments in Chinese digital marketing.

Here are our top 10 blog articles of the year, based on number of views in 2021:

10. 7 Things Chinese Backpackers Reveal about the Chinese Travel Experience
Published 22 January, 2019


Our article summarized the findings of two academic reports about Chinese backpackers in Europe, revealing pertinent information about how they traveled and used digital resources during every stage of their trip, with findings that could be applied to Chinese outbound tourists – especially independent tourists – more generally.

9. China Traveler Sentiment Report: September 2021
Published 23 September, 2021

Our second Chinese traveler sentiment survey of 2021 found that more Chinese were willing to consider travel, as long as safety measures are being met. Despite this summer’s COVID outbreak in China, survey respondents expressed a stronger desire to travel and relax than in previous surveys, and growing frustration around restrictions and outbreaks. While perceptions about the safety of overseas destinations were not particularly positive, Chinese travelers remained highly receptive to and inspired by information about international destinations.

8. Responsible Tourism from China: Three Focus Areas
Published 2 October, 2019

Interest in sustainable and responsible travel has increased around the world since the pandemic began, with the travel industry taking more concerted efforts to reduce negative impact on the environment and local communities. Dragon Trail has focused on this topic for the Chinese market for many years already, with this blog series based on our 2019 report, “Responsible Tourism from China,” outlining the three key focus areas relating to responsible and sustainable tourism from China. Since then, we have continued to showcase sustainability for the Chinese tourism market, with a webinar together with World Animal Protection China, the Group, and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and recent work to promote Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s Considerate Collection to a Chinese audience.

7. The Top Chinese Tourism Trends of 2019
Published 15 January, 2020

This summary of trends in destinations and styles of travel in 2019 provides a nice snapshot of Chinese outbound tourism just before everything suddenly changed. Some of the trends – like increased interest in outdoor activities, daka tourism, and customized travel – stayed very relevant to China’s domestic market in 2020 and 2021. Whenever outbound tourism recovery begins again, it’s worth reviewing content like this.

6. Beginner’s Guide to WeChat Advertising for Travel Brands
Published 30 April, 2019

Another 2019 article that stayed popular in 2020, this informative guide introduced WeChat ad formats, requirements, pricing, and targeting options, as well as suggestions for how to supplement advertising with paid influencer promotions.

5. CTA Annual Report on Chinese Outbound Tourism Development 2019
Published 7 August, 2019

Our second most-read article of 2019 and eighth most-read article of 2020 remained highly popular in 2021. The translation of a report by the China Tourism Academy, the content is based on Chinese outbound tourism data from 2018.

4. Chinese Tourism to Europe H1 2019 Report
Published 28 August, 2019

This translated report from the China Tourism Academy and HCG Travel has remained so popular because it has some of the best and most complete data on Chinese tourism to Europe in the first half of 2019, including top European destinations, visitor numbers, demographic trends of the Chinese market, MICE travel, and more.

3. Chinese Consumer Travel Sentiment Report: March 2021
Published 31 March, 2021

Our first of two Chinese consumer sentiment reports of 2021, these survey findings revealed that Chinese consumers had become more likely to say that they were willing to travel than in 2020. We also asked Chinese travelers to rate the safety of 12 overseas destinations, and analyzed travel motivations and drivers of travel intention, showing high value placed on friendliness to Chinese travelers, the pandemic situation in the destination, external messages from the government and travel agencies, and social pressure.

2. How to Use WeChat Channels for Tourism Marketing
Published 17 July, 2020

In February 2020, WeChat added a new feature to its arsenal: WeChat Channels, an open stream of short video and photo content. Our introductory article looked at how WeChat Channels work, and how can they be used effectively for tourism marketing. As this feature became more important and embraced by more brands in 2021, our guide has served as a valuable reference.

1. Chinese Outbound and Inbound Travel Rules Roundup
First published 22 March, 2021. Last updated 15 December, 2021.

To help keep the travel industry up to date and informed, we created an essential reference for all the latest developments and regulations regarding travel into and out of mainland China, as well as vaccination information. This post was regularly updated with new or changing policies, and will continue to be so in 2022.

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